Hello for the last time from the desk of Student Activities...
I am officially moving out of this office over the weekend, and I am full of sadness and the excitement of change. I found out earlier this week that the current HS office will be relocating into my office during summer renovations to the other side of the building, which gives me only through this weekend to finish up my business for next year. I did quite well last night, working away at organizing everything- and now my main task is compiling a binder full of info for the incoming Student Activities Director.
I have written a farewell note to each senior and member of the Student Council, and I wrote a general note to each student and passed them out- so it's my feeble attempt at saying-
'I would love to stay in contact, and I'm leaving- but my heart is still here.' Because that is absolutely true. My heart will always be here, not only because I have created a family here, but also because these students are the first group of students to teach me about the innate beauty of adolescents in a poverty situation... a lesson I believe will advance my future goals of loving as many young people as possible over the course of my life. What a daunting, yet fabulous goal in life, huh?
I'm sure I will post again to wrap-up my experiences here with some reflections, but this is the last time I will sit at this desk to write my ramblings. And I have to say- I've already had more tears over leaving than some, (AJ?) :) might think possible... truly, I feel good about leaving, for the fact that it has evoked a certain honesty between the students and I. I am real about my life goals, and the life-changing impact they've all had on me, and they are real about how much they're going to miss me.
It's so beautiful....for example.... a rather quiet sophomore student council member asked me on Monday to come to her 7th hour class- and when I got there I realized she had prepared a speech she wanted me to listen to, and at first it was about her father and the guilt she felt about his life decisions. (I was moved to hear such honest words, especially since they provoked unending tears from her). Her second speech was entitled, "My Dearest Emily"- and was a tribute to how much she's learned from me and felt my support. She mentioned that she knew how much I would miss it here, but she didn't want them (the students) to hold me back from pursuing my education... because they (the students) know already how much I love them. It was so moving, perhaps one of the most sincere displays of affection I have ever received!
A few of the student council members who read the letters I had written told me they cried and cried- and read it over and over. Some might think this type of emotion is sappy or something- but truly I can't help feeling the opposite. Sappy is something silly...and the relationships I've developed with these students are anything but silly. (I'm tearing up as I write)... and I guess I've never in my life felt more sadness at a life transition than I do right now. I'm leaving after two years... but the people I love here aren't moving on- they remain in their world here, which is so much different than any transition I've experienced. At college everyone is moving on, it is only a temporary setting... but here- this is more than preparation for life...it is life, and to be leaving people with whom I've shared life is so difficult!
Ah, to be entering another temporary world- I look forward to life at Princeton, I really do, but I know I will miss everything about this place and these people. My heart was reborn here, in a sense, and I'm leaving bits of my heart all over the place here! So, here's to anyone from my life at Pine Ridge who might be reading this- I will always love you, and I will always cherish the bits of my heart which I now leave behind.
Transition is great, but oh so difficult, but great. :)